The Truth Rundown – St. Petersburg Times, 21-23 June, 2009-06-22

In this three part series the St. Petersburg Times interview four former top ranking members of the Church of Scientology. These former members tell of the abuse they suffered at the hands of the Scientology leader David Miscavige and reveal new details of the tragic case of Lisa McPherson, a Scientologist who died in Scientology care.

Introductory video is below.
Full story and materials are available by clicking here

ABOUT THIS SPECIAL REPORT ON SCIENTOLOGY (Taken from the article’s website): Mark C. “Marty” Rathbun left the Church of Scientology staff in late 2004, ending a 27-year career that saw him rise to be a top lieutenant to Miscavige in the organization. For the past four years, he has lived a low-profile life in Texas. Some speculated he had died.

In February, Rathbun posted an Internet message announcing he was available to counsel other disaffected Scientologists.

“Having dug myself out of the dark pit where many who leave the church land,” he wrote, “I began lending a hand to others similarly situated.”

Contacted by the St. Petersburg Times, Rathbun agreed to tell the story of his years in Scientology and what led to his leaving. The Times interviewed him at his home in Texas, and he came to Clearwater to revisit some of the scenes he described.

Seeking to corroborate Rathbun’s story, the newspaper contacted others who were in Scientology during the same period and have left the church: Mike Rinder, one of Rathbun’s closest associates for two decades; Tom De Vocht, who Rathbun named as key to his decision to leave; and later, Amy Scobee.

Rathbun and Rinder were well known to the reporters, who had interviewed them dozens of times, sometimes combatively, through years of controversy in Clearwater. They also hosted the reporters in Los Angeles in 1998, when Miscavige granted the only print media interview he has given.

Two reporters met Rinder in Denver, where he now lives, but he declined to be interviewed. About a month later, two Washington-based lawyers who work for the church showed up unannounced in Denver, informed Rinder that they had heard about the newspaper’s visit and asked what he had revealed.

They reminded him that as one of the church’s top legal officers, attorney-client privilege did not end when he left the church. They told him he could hurt the church by going public.

Weeks later, after the church provided the newspaper with a 2007 video of Rinder heatedly denying that Miscavige hit him and others, Rinder decided to talk to the Times.

De Vocht was interviewed in Winter Haven. Scobee was interviewed in Pinellas County, when she and her husband came to visit relatives.

The reporters interviewed the four defectors multiple times, and met with church spokesmen and lawyers for 25 hours.

Compare the claims from these former staffers with those reported as far back as 1987 in the BBC documentary Panorama – Bridge to Total Freedom:
Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

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